Equity and Excellence in Maine Schools

Overview

Equity and Excellence in Maine Schools (EEMS) is an outreach initiative of the University of Southern Maine (USM) School of Education and Human Development (SEHD).  The mission of EEMS is to promote awareness of equity issues and to provide resources and supports to help ensure excellence in education for all children in Maine schools.

EEMS provides a Maine-based clearinghouse of resources related to equity in K-12 schools.  Resources include web links to organizations and teacher materials.  In addition, workshops and contract services are available for professional development to support culturally responsive practices for teachers, administrators, and staff; equity audits related to student achievement, program funding, student access to programming, and teacher quality; and consultation with schools and districts regarding the implementation of best practices for equity and excellence. 

Making Change Through Empowering Collaboration

Maine schools have a tradition of high quality education based on strong student teacher relationships and community support. This project continues in that tradition with new tools and strategies to help teachers and administrators respond to changing demographics.

Variety of Tools to Respond to Teachers, Administrators and Community Requests

Student Voice - Students from local diverse communities speak about their experiences in school and what they would like to see from schools, teachers and programs to help them be academically successful. Contact Abdullahi Ahmed at ahmeda@portlandschools.org

Professional Learning Team Support - Consulting provided in response to teachers' identified concerns. May include reading and online resources, critical friends group protocol (CFG) to examine classroom practices and student work profiles with expert participation. Topics may include: culturally responsive teaching; responding to students in poverty; teaching English Language Learners; and responding to crisis and grief in students' lives.  Contact Dr. Flynn Ross at fross@usm.maine.edu

Culturally Responsive Classroom Management and Discipline - Building on the examination of needs assessment related to discipline, strategic school and district-wide programming consultation aligned with Restorative Justice and School Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS). Contact Dr. Flynn Ross at fross@usm.maine.edu


Needs Assesment Through Equity Audits

The EEMS initiative is about strategically using existing data sources and asking questions of the data to identify opportunity gaps that lead to achievement gaps.  Equity Audits are conducted based on the work of Linda Skrla and beginning with data from the Federal Civil Rights Data Collection school level profiles.

Achievement - Examination of academic programming on standardized tests; attendance rates; disciplinary referrals, detentions, and suspensions. 

Programming - Academic and co-curricular participation rates; access to programming by various student populations considering timing, transportation, and communication; comparative funding equity of programs. 

Culture and Climate - Surveys of attitudes and dispositions selected from current data and validated tools for students, teachers, and administrators (MYDAS survey, Milville-Guzman Universality Diversity Scale, Teaching Diverse Students Initiative Common Beliefs Survey).